Excerpted from Living Abroad in Costa Rica
International Airport, just outside of San Jose
How do I get there?
By air is by far the easiest way to get to Costa
Rica, and although fares fluctuate, for the past several years there
have been some great deals available, especially if you’re
flexible about when you can fly. More than one million people come
to Costa Rica every year, and most arrive by plane.
Costa Rica is under 3 hours by air from Miami, about 5 hours from
New York City, 7 hours from Los Angeles and 8.5 hours from Toronto.
More than 30 international flights arrive daily at Juan Santamaría
International Airport, half an hour northwest of the capital city
of San José. Every year, carriers add more flights and more
carriers get in the game. Flying from North America, you can choose
from Air Canada, American Airlines, America West, Continental, Delta,
LACSA (Costa Rica’s airline), Mexicana, Northwest, TACA (the
Central American airline), and United (see Links for airline websites),
not to mention special charter flights that come and go as demand
dictates. Remember that charter flights seldom show up when you
do web searches for the best airfare deals—call a travel agent
or make direct contact with package tour companies.
Direct flights are available from many cities, including New York,
Miami, Atlanta, Dallas/Forth Worth, Houston, and Los Angeles. Other
cities require a brief stop and sometimes a plane change, though
every year it gets easier to get to San José quickly and
painlessly. From San Francisco, for instance, you can get a flight
that stops briefly in San Salvador and then arrives in San José
about 8 hours after takeoff in California. A favorite for those
able to sleep on the plane is LACSA flight 561, which leaves San
Francisco at 1:15 am and arrives in Costa Rica before ten in the
More and more international flights are becoming available to the
airport in Liberia, just half an hour from the Pacific Ocean.
Taxis from the airport
There’s s taxi stand at the airport, where you can buy a
voucher and then be ushered into one of the waiting cabs. A trip
from the airport to San Jose costs about $13 (you can pay in dollars
If you’ve rented a car, the agency will often pick you up
at the airport and take you to their facility, where you pick up